Wednesday 29 July 2015

Animal Clinic

Our little fur baby had some sort of issue over the weekend. Don't know what really - maybe she ate something, maybe she was exposed to something, who knows. I ended up at the 24h vet on Monday night when she wouldn't do anything but sit on my lap and wouldn't eat.  I noticed she had very swollen bumps on her throat (lymph nodes?).  She was mute in the car which isn't her usual self, and didn't resist any movement or manipulation, was just kind of rag doll mode.  She goes for low corners when she feels uncertain, or my lap.

The good news is she's on the mend.  The educational part is spending the better part of a night at the 24h vet is really an eye opener.  It's a hard profession, as they can't explain how they feel, and aren't smart enough to really be accepting of help.  It has to be an emotionally taxing job.  Pets generally aren't big noisemakers, but it's even more so when they're injured or under the weather.  People don't say much when they accompany them in, the pets are silent, the staff speaks in low tones.  It has an air of heavyness and drama to it all. 

I got to bring my pet home with a positive prognosis.  Many didn't as situations are just to progressed or extreme to start with.  Further, many are faced with very very tough decisions on cost vs. treatment as they don't have the means or insurance to ring up a big bill on a pet.  Those are tough decisions to watch happen to families at 2am.  Animals are valuable parts of families as any pet owners know.

Saturday 25 July 2015

Water Valley north

Devin and I braved some weather to rip a loop of Water Valley North loop. It's never  uneventful weather out in the mountains. 

I picked him up a bit late, but we weren't on time constraints today. Rolled out in the Discovery which brought a smile to my face. 

Nice roll out west, would be nice one day to do it without extra bottles weight of we could cache them at the top. 

We had spots of rain, but it wasn't that cold. We elected not to go NE to the Red Deer river as the weather looked pretty ominous. It was the right call. 

No pics on the way back, just trying to beat the rain and not let the relentless punchy climbs get us. Both of us felt decent. 

Jammed the last pavement climb and coasted into down just ahead of downpour that got us when loading up and changing.

Sunday 19 July 2015

Penticton Riding Camp day 3 - Baldy Beats Bakke

The plan fell a bit behind early - idea was to get up to the Bench cafe before 8 when it opened to then get rolling early.  Tour finish and my room check out had us up there in the lineup and on the road at about 9.

We headed south 45k with the plan to ride up Baldy, which is 35k of up hill. We did calcs on turaround time, especially for me with a flight home. Idea was to leave the gas station at the bottom at noon. 

I pulled hard and long along the lake south of town. It was cool in the morning, say "only" in the high 20's and flat. Secretly I already saw the full ascent wasn't going to work for me, so this is where I got the workout in. 

Turning up the climb spelled trouble for me early. It was... yes, no surprise here: hot.  My training and climbing math is like this:

320W ideal indoor computrainer 20 mins
301W ; ) the long Apex climb fresh
Minus 2 days of mondo fatigue -50W
Minus the "AC" requirements at 35 celsius -50W
Minus seemingly insatiable electrolyte shortage (1) -50W

So the crux of it is when your remaining Watts are 150 and the grade is steep and you have a 39x27 and are my weight, you turn around or you're going to be in the ditch with the buzzards on you instead of making the flight home. 

(1) I'm not in a position to argue with cravings.  I kid you not, in the 45k back from the climb which I did solo, I stopped in 2 gas stations to buy cans of V8. They've never tasted so good. 

This was near my turnaround. "Baldy Beats Bakke".  Another time. 

Made it home for one more gourmet stop, the only lunch I've had out here. 2 pickles extra for salts.

Penticton Riding Camp day 2 - Anarchist

After yesterday, I stopped calling our fearless leader Trev and started using T-pain. Today is T-pain's 40th birthday, so he wanted something special. Plus we were able to start earlier in the day. 

The plan was to do a large local climb called Anarchist. It's 17k and sounded like quite a workout. Ok cool. But since good things come in twos, the idea was to do it twice. Ok great, that's a lot of climbing km's, but T-pain said its not as steep of a grade so we can survive it with our already deadened legs. Ok. So where's the climb?  Oh, like 70k away. Geez. So we go to a gourmet breakfast spot and start the ride south to Osoyoos.

We take it reasonably easy on the commute south, passing a winery my colleagues own, then load up on drinks at a gas station. 

Nice roads. 

Good company. 

went under a local water decoration by the lake before the first climb, it felt good but was dry in like 10 mins. First climb was ok. Hot. Trev passed me again like I was standing still, I got to within a few m of Dennis, but past the 2/3 mark he held a pace that kept me slipping back.  The top that people use is not the cougar, stag, deer or eagle, but the Sasquatch. I lied down in some shade and waited for Scott for the descent. 

Climb 2 was hotter. It started around 2pm and was already over 100k into the day. I put it in my easy gear and tried to use the Watts left over after cooling to grind my way up. 

The temp kept climbing. I felt obligated to take a photo of my Garmin when the temperature matched my age. That's balls hot. I was actually happy that instead of finding shade to sit in that I could continue in modest form. 

Coming back down the descent felt like coasting in an oven. If I left my mouth open its go dry right away. We stopped in town at Tim Hortons for snacks.  Apparently I needed salt. 

Tried to set a pace line into the headwind on the way home but some of us were cracking intermittently. Trev pulled us over onto a path along a canal with less wind and some shade.  We couldn't resist the opportunity to cool our core temperatures down a bit. 

It wasn't a blazing finish, but one more gas station stop with a can of V8 that went down in 15s helped is finish off. 206k, 2,600m climbing, 8h ride time. 

We loaded up at Salty's restaurant, appropriately, for Trev's birthday!

Penticton Riding Camp day 1 - Apex

This weekend I'm doing a riding camp in Penticton with a handful of our Haute Route group - Trev, Scott and Dennis. For me it's also a sleep camp, which I've been craving. 

We were on the road at about noon on Friday for a climb up to Apex ski resort, x2. We're focusing on these x2's to simulate multiple climbs on our event. Nice roads up to there, then Trev showed us the bottle drop corner and where people time their ascents from.  

The first 6k was pretty steep, and I haven't adjusted my gears yet to be suitable for a lot of climbing. I could just barely keep it ticking over and was putting out a lot of energy. Dennis and I rode the steeper sections together - lets just say physics dictates he'll spend less energy combatting gravity than I will.  Right where it starts to "flatten" we could hear Trev approaching, so I jumped to try to stay on his wheel for a bit. That worked for about 10s but as we finished I could still see him, he put most of his time in on the steeps and about a minute on the flatter portion, total of 5 mins ahead of me. He's 4th overall on it at 39min and I'm 17th at 44. For me that was a 301W sustained effort, which in heat I thought was good. Trev averaged 6W more, but the other key is he weighs 149lb. 

Second repeat was a lot harder. I watched everyone with spinny gears use them, and just grinded out the climb. My power to weight to grade to gears ration was out of whack. 

Nice descent down to a gravel road section that was lovely. Little more twitchy on the Cervelo vs one of my ti bikes but beauty. 

Stopped at a gas station to refuel, came down the hill by a Canada observation station in the name of science locals call Area 51, then home. 

We were bagged - and I was proud to have survived the heat (mostly). Had some adductor cramping on the way home, but that was less hear related and more overgeared double climb related. 

136k, 2930m and about 5:45. Warmup day!

Saturday 11 July 2015

ATB Highwood Fondo 2015

I hadn't had this in the plans - frankly the only plan this summer was "new child" but at the Stampede Road Race I got talked into it. Glad I did. I slept in Bunnin's basement to get a decent sleep as riding in the white fog of sleep reduced nights is less fun.

Start was faster this year with more guys taking flyers off the front. I just tried to conserve energy.  As expected, it was all 100% irrelevant until Trev and Shawn started firing off bullets on the rollers leading up to the climb to thin out the pack. It went from 50 to 20 to 10 to 3 real quick. 

Cindy came out for the finish, just in time to see us roll in. Good times, I think I was 6th this year.  These aren't right just yet as Shawn, Trev, Jay, Pat and Cal finished ahead.  Rode basically climb and whole way back with Hooper like last year. 

Sunday 5 July 2015

Stampede Road Race/Alberta Masters Road Championships 2015

First race as a dad, and I'm two weeks into not sleeping like before. Brit is a peaceful newborn, but it's still the newborn routine. 

Commuted out with Shawn and Ashley. Got there right before and did the classic 4 minute "warmup". Start was fast but I felt ok. I missed going in a group I should have. Ended up solo for a bit, then Mac Garvin and I chased a bit. 2 man chase didn't work. Regrouped with a few before someone had a wipeout and took out Mac on a totally wide, slow climb in a group of 5. Not sure wtf that was about. 

Coalesced into a group of 7 that dwindled as the laps progressed. 

Second in the sprint by half a bike length to a guy who pulled hard first 4 laps then hid from wind on last lap. 

I was so tired after I fell asleep in the parking lot. Shawn won the whole deal so we were staying for podiums. 

I got woken to be called up to the Masters A podium (30's guys). Third!  Had no idea how many guys were up the road. Had I known maybe I wouldn't have been as adamant on showing the "let's not all slow this last lap to nothing while staring at each other and do some constructive rotations". Nah, I would have anyway. 

Nice course, beauty day!

Friday 3 July 2015

Canada Day 2015

For almost all of the last decade, Canada Day's have been on BC's coast for me at BC Bike Race.  This year I did include some riding - I rode from home out to just past Waiparous Village.  Cindy then picked me up with Brit, and we went for a little picnic and Land Rover adventure on the eastern flank of Banff National Park in the Ghost Wilderness Area.

Land Rover Discovery II

In another new addition to the family, Defender got a brother named Discovery II this week.  Defender is great and still around, but will rest when it's 15C or colder instead of trying cold starts.  Discovery's gas engine should be just fine for that.

Discovery is a bit older, cost less than any of my bikes, but has a new engine and an assortment of other new parts.  We're excited to welcome the addition!  I think it still has many graceful miles in it!

Carl Strong Road bike / cyclocross bike/ Travel bike v4.0

This road/travel/gravel/'cross bike, aka a "Montana Road Bike" has served me well over the years.  This spring it got another update - all of which has made it even nicer to ride.

Version one went touring in Chile and Argentina at Christmas 2006, with alloy wheels and cantilever brakes, Ultegra kit.  All worked well. v2 moved to vbrakes. Version 3 was a Di2 and disc brake conversion.

The updates bring newer technology to the ride - hydraulic disc brakes (prior were cable pull with Di2, all that was available then), Reynolds Attack disc wheels, tubeless compatible, Schwalbe One 28mm tubeless tires, and a Stages power meter.  Icing on the cake is a bar I prefer the shape of, a Tune Komm Vor, and eggbeater 11's, and the Fairwheel bikes carbon cages.

All in it's 20lb flat.  That comes with a tough as nails frame that's coupled for travel (Di2 plugs inside at the S&S coupler), huge excess braking power, hugely comfortable wide rim/wide tire tubeless setup, the all day comfy ti fork, and power data.  Love it!  I've never ridden a more comfortable wheel/tire setup, I'm usually running around 75psi.  It's been my first grab out of the garage now for months!

Baby Bakke

We have a new daughter this week, Cindy brought it to us on Father's day.  So exciting!